Your accommodation on safari
We offer two sorts of safaris: camping, and sleeping in lodges/permanent mobile camps.
Our camping safaris
On a camping safari where, using equipment that may be familiar to you from your trek, you will camp either in, or near, the national parks. This is not only the cheaper option, but also the option that allows you to get closer to nature. With the camping option, in addition to the driver you will have a second crew member with you, to help the driver put up the tents and cook the food etc. Those tents and other camping and cooking equipment travels with you in your vehicle.
Those who have themselves been on ‘camping holidays’ will often have had to equip and maintain their own sites and arrange their own meals. On our lightweight camping safaris however, we regularly receive feedback from guests that they were surprised to be able to enjoy such high levels of service and care, and that the experience was a great deal more comfortable than they anticipated.
Two main types of lightweight camping are incorporated into our Tanzanian safaris:
1. Public camps within the national parks of Tanzania.
We used to receive feedback that visitors had been disappointed – particularly in the busy season – with the numbers of other campers sharing the site, and the fairly low standards of the facilities on-site. They have improved since then, and public camps are now equipped with hot showers – though the warmth of the water should not be relied upon. You can, however, still expect these campsites to be busy.
2. Private camps – usually located outside the national parks of Tanzania.
These are usually better equipped than public camps, though they are usually situated outside – but within easy reach of – the national parks. Most are equipped with hot showers and will usually also have access to electricity to recharge mobile phones and camera batteries. Many private camps also have bars.
Equipment used on lightweight camping safaris
Adventurers going on lightweight camping safaris are required to themselves supply the kit listed on our recommended personal kit check list. We provide the following equipment on safari:
Lightweight Portable Sleeping tents
Mess tents for meals (unless staying exclusively at camps which have
Tables and chairs.
All necessary cutlery and ancillaries for meals and drinks.
Custom-designed 4cm-thick foam sleeping mattresses.
Wash basins for rudimentary personal ablutions. In addition, most camps
have basic showers.
Private portable toilets if staying in minimal environmental impact wilderness camps that have no permanent infrastructure.
Staying in lodges/permanent tents
Despite the undoubted advantages of a camping safari, there’s no doubt that most of our climbers prefer to stay in lodges or permanent camps on safari. And who can blame them? After spending a week or more ‘roughing it’ in a tent on Kilimanjaro, it’s perfectly sensible to want to stay in more luxurious accommodation on your safari.
If you don’t want to camp, then essentially you have two options for accommodation on your safari: safari lodges, and permanent tents/mobile camps.
These are essentially hotels in (or near to) the national parks. Don’t imagine a high-rise concrete block stuck in the middle of the Serengeti, however; safari lodges are usually rather charming places, often built with traditional local materials including thatched ‘Makuti’ roofs, wood and mud-brick walls.
They are nevertheless incredibly comfortable – indeed, often luxurious, with all the amenities you’d expect from a luxury hotel including, often, swimming pools, en-suite rooms, room service, and top-notch food prepared by a first-class chef. (Typically, you will have dinner and breakfast at the lodge, and they’ll also provide you with a packed lunch to eat while you’re on safari, thus saving you having to return to the lodge during the day.)
Many of these lodges have been located to take advantage of the magnificent views, particularly around the rim of Ngorongoro, of course, but also in the other parks too. And all of them will have some sort of security, often drawn from a nearby Maasai population, to protect you from any of the local wildlife.
What you will probably not get, however, is an internet connection, and almost certainly not wi-fi. And it’s true that, depending on where the accommodation is situated, water may be scarce and showers strictly limited.
These small hardships, however, are more than made up by the sheer joy of being pampered in some of the most wild and beautiful places you’ll ever find.
Such advantages don’t come cheap, however, and some of the lodges rank amongst the most expensive accommodation in Tanzania. But unless you specifically request these ‘exclusive’ lodges, we will accommodate you in places that provide a happy compromise between facilities and fair value.